Surprises as new soccer champs head to the national school games

School games education

New soccer kingpins are set for the crown at the forth coming Kenya  Secondary School Sports Association (KSSSA national championship.

This year’s KSSSA games scheduled for 6th August  2023 in Kakamega will witness the emergence of new champs after the elimination of most of the defending titleholders at sub county, County and regional levels.

New football kingpins will be crowned during the national championships whose finals will be held at Bukhungu Stadium.

The reigning national defending boys champions Ebwali from Vihiga County will not defend the national title after being bundled  out of the race at the sub county level.

Ebwali won the title last year after beating Highway Secondary from Nairobi 1-0 in the finals.

Outgoing soccer boys champions Ebwali boys from Vihiga. Photo by Gilbert Ochieng

Kakamega Green Commandos had hoped to bounce back after missing national slots for two years in 2019 and 2022. The games were not held in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID 19.

Last year, the Green Commandos were eliminated in the semi-final stage by minnows Mwitoti, which later lost to Shanderema on penalties after a 1-1 draw in normal time of the bruising final encounter.

The newbies Shanderema will represent the western region in the battle for the soccer title after edging Musingu school.

In 2019, Kakamega failed to advance after falling at the group stage level.

They have won the national title a record 14 times.

Their only undoing is failure to win the East Africa school games title.

Kakamega school football team. Photo Courtesy

Only St Anthony Kitale in 2002 and Barding from Nyanza in 2016 have achieved the feat as the only Kenyan schools to clinch the diadem.

Ugandan schools have dominated the East Africa crown with St Mary’s Kitende, winning it a record 12 times.

Other winners from Uganda include Standard High in 2003, Masaka SSS, and Budo SSS. Kitende won in 2004-2014 and 2017.

With the exit of Ebwali and regular campaigners like Kakamega Boys, Barding, Friends School Bukembe, Olbosolat, Upper Hill, Kamukunji and Laiser Hill among others, the stage is now set for schools that had brought glory to the country but which went into oblivion or those that are making their debut at the games.

One-time East Africa schools games  champions and five-time national champions St Anthony Kitale are making a return in the national scene, hoping to redeem their glory, which had dwindled since 2019 when they last won the National title after beating  Dagoreti High in the finals.

The reigning national and East Africa Secondary Schools Games champions Cheptil failed to retain the regional title that would have given them an opportunity to defend the two titles they won last year.

They met their exit for Andersen in Trans Nzoia, which beat them 3-0 in the semi-finals to set out a final clash with Ol Moran from Narok County which they emerged 3-2 winners to book a ticket for the national finals in Kakamega.

Cheptil was crowned the Federation of East Africa Secondary Schools Sports Association (FEASSSA) championships in 2022 in Arusha Tanzania, after beating Standard SSS from Uganda 3-1 to reclaim the title they last won in 2012.

It was back to back victory, having also won in 2011.

On the national scene, Cheptil from Nandi County has won the title 5 Times since its inception in 1971.

Their first victory was in 2009. They won back to back in 2011 and 2012, 2016, and the last being in 2022.

Netball will be without national defending champions after Kobala Girls from Nyanza was eliminated at the semi-finals stage of the regional games held at Maranda School.

The outgoing champions settled for third position after beating Nyakach Girls 41-30 in the third playoff match.

Kobala was crowned 2022 national netball champions after beating Bumala AC from Busia County 47-15 in the final.

Oyugi Ogango emerged the new champions after edging Nyakach Girls 40-37 in the final to secure a slot for the national games.

The schools that will be in Kakamega to defend their national titles include Wiyeta soccer girls, which won the crown last year, beating Dagoreti 4-1 in the final.

Wiyeta from Trans Nzoia County beat Nasikol from West Pokot 2-0 in the Rift Valley regional finals.

Six-time East Africa Secondary Schools volleyball champions Kwathanze from Machakos County will defend the title they won last year.

The school early this year was crowned Africa school champions.

Kwanthanze were early this year crowned Africa volleyball girls champions, in their debut of the Federation of African Schools Sport Championships in Casablanca, Morocco.

They achieved the feat after beating the hosts Lycee Bir Anzarane in straight sets.

Koyonzo from Kakamega County will also defend the Rugby 7s title they won last year.

They retained the Western regional title to secure a ticket for the national games.

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